It’s been a hard week.
A few people I care about have been dealing with health issues and I’ve been worried about them. It’s frustrating when there’s not much I can do to help, other than pray for them and be a listening ear.
I’ve also been feeling a little left out. Going into medical school, I knew that I would be making sacrifices, whether it was giving up time to engage in hobbies outside of medicine or spending time with friends and family. Recently, the latter portion has been difficult. Some of my friends from college live in the same city and I realize that I get jealous when they hang out without me.
Going on social media has been hard too, especially when it seems like everyone is on vacation during the middle of the week or are doing fun things over the weekend. While I know social media only shows the highlights, it’s still hard for me to remind myself of that. I’m considering stepping away from Instagram until spring break.
I had an exam and quiz today and I don’t think I did well on either. I won’t know for sure until I get my grades back (and often times, my predictions are wrong), but I’m currently expecting the worst.
I’ve also been under the weather for the past few days, with my symptoms progressively worsening. What initially presented as a cough has turned into a runny nose, sore throat, chills, and overall body weakness.
Part of me wonders why I can’t power through this like I usually do. Med school waits for no one and the last thing I want to do is get extra sleep and take care of my health.
I haven’t been feeling motivated to study and it’s honestly scaring me a little. I enjoy the things I’m learning right now and yet, I feel like I haven’t been giving my school work the attention and effort I expect of myself. I am keeping up with the material for the most part, but I always feel like I can try harder. At the same time, part of me just wants to stay afloat until spring break, which is less than a month from now.
I finally got a light box/happy light. I resisted getting one for the longest time because they are a bit pricey and I was stubborn. I was convinced that I would adjust to no-sun winters, eventually. After all, most people here seem fine with dealing with the winter months, so I assumed I can adapt as well.
After confiding in a few close friends and my therapist, I decided that it wouldn’t hurt to try and see if the light box made a difference in my mood. As much as I hate to admit it, the weather does play a role in my mental health and I haven’t been feeling like myself for a couple of weeks now. I found myself pretending that I was fine more times than not this week, forcing me to reflect on what I can do to help myself.
I got the light box in the mail today and I plan on using it for the first time tomorrow. The last time I saw the sun was Saturday morning (five days ago, not that I’m counting or anything). It helps to know that I’m not the only sun-deprived Californian; my mom told me that it’s been raining back at home for the past few days as well. I also got a space heater, but I’m pretty sure it’s broken so I’m going to have to return it.
Despite this being a hard week, there were (many) good things that happened as well.
There were conversations with friends and professors that made me belly-laugh, reminding me again and again to approach life with a bit more lightness and grace.
I’m grateful for cute animal-themed Valentine’s day cards and for my mom for sending me a surprise care package.
I’m grateful for the people who go out of their way to make me smile, especially those who poke their head into my study room and share a piece of a brownie they got at a meeting. For those who allow me to talk about something other than medicine or studying, reminding me that there is life outside of the bubble I find myself in.
I’m lucky to have people who continue to show patience and compassion towards me, even when I may be challenging to be around.
Earlier this week, I found out that I was accepted into a summer program that I wanted. It’s funny to think I almost didn’t apply because I thought the chances of me getting accepted were slim. While I’m 99% sure I’m going to accept this position, I’m still waiting to hear back from a few other programs. Regardless of what program(s) I end up participating in, I’m excited to have something to look forward to this summer.